NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – The first of three between Quinnipiac University and Niagara University went in favor of the Purple Eagles, as the Bobcats dropped a 5-2 decision from Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Vincent Guglietti (East Haven, Conn.) and Mike Blumenthal (Dix Hills, N.Y.) each picked up RBI for the Bobcats on a cold day in upstate New York.
Quinnipiac (6-16) generated the game's first run in the fourth inning, when Matthew Batten (Shelton, Conn.) reached on an infield single and advanced to second on an errant throw. With one out in the inning, Guglietti stepped in to the batters' box and laced an RBI single through the right side for a 1-0 Bobcat lead.
Niagara (8-16) answered in the bottom half of the inning though, putting a three-spot on the scoreboard. The Purple Eagles used an infield single and a walk to stir up trouble for the Bobcats – and then scored on the next play when Greg Rodgers reached on a throwing error. Quinnipiac starting pitcher Thomas Jankins (West Brookfield, Mass.) got some help from his defense when the Bobcats turned a fly-ball to center field into a double-play, but a two-out, two-run single pushed Niagara's lead to 3-1 before the end of the inning.
Niagara tacked on two more in the bottom of the sixth, taking advantage of a fourth out in the frame. Rodgers struck out but advanced to first base on a pass-ball. Niagara proceeded to load the bases after a base-hit and a hit batter, and then capitalized on a Bobcat error to score its fourth run of the game. Joel Brophy walked on the ensuring at-bat to plate Niagara's fifth and final run.
Quinnipiac made some noise in the top of the seventh, when the Bobcats loaded the bases with two outs in the inning. Scott Donaghue (Marlboro, N.J.) advanced to first on a dropped third strike (pass-ball), Rob Pescitelli (West Islip, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch, and Brian Ruditys (Boothwyn, Pa.) walked to put Bobcats at every base. Blumenthal worked a walk to plate Quinnipiac's second run, but Niagara's pitcher Kevin Lucas induced a ground ball to end the threat.
The Bobcats went down in order in the top of the eighth, and left two runners on base in the ninth. Pescitelli walked and Ryan Nelson (Knoxville, Tenn.) was hit by a pitch, leaving first and second with no one out. However, relief pitcher Geoff Soja settled in and retired QU in order to pick up his third save of the year.
Jankins turned in another solid outing on the mound for Quinnipiac, allowing one earned run over six innings. He allowed five hits, walked two and struck out a pair. His counterpart, Jordan Schwartz, allowed three hits over 6 and 2/3 innings while not allowing an earned run. He struck out eight and improved to 3-4 on the season with the win.
Bobcat fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for additional schedule changes over the next week due to inclement weather and playing conditions, as well as the latest news scores and highlights.
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